How to Beat Boredom While Waiting in Line for a Show

Categories: Helpful Advice
The dreaded show line: Sometimes it's just an unavoidable and inevitable part of concertgoing. Even for those of us who usually simply walk away from bars and clubs that have lines in favor of places that don't involve standing outside feeling stupid, gigs have a tendency to force us all into organized submission from time to time. Here's how to beat the boredom of this most tedious of street activities.

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Complain. Complain Like an Old Lady at the Doctor.
Not only will this relieve your own frustration about being trapped outside the place where the booze lives and the music's happening, but moaning about the line you're in is one of the quickest ways to make friends ever invented. Next time you find yourself in a quiet, slow-moving line for a show -- especially if it's cold out -- wait about three minutes, sigh loudly, then start making cracks about the general inefficiency of any and all people handling entry to the venue. "Who's taking the tickets at the front at this place, anyway," you'll whine, "limbless monkeys?" Within an additional two minutes, the people in front and behind you will have joined in and you'll all have bonded like you're long-suffering soldiers in an endless war.

Give the Homeless Guy Something
Many of us living in this fine city have become utterly indifferent to homeless folk, on account of there being what often feels like billions of them. Yes, we get asked for change a lot, and there is a certain vulnerability to being trapped in a line and unable to simply walk away -- but seriously, people: That Street Sheet guy outside the show trying to scrape together enough change to get into the shelter tonight doesn't have leprosy, and you're about to spend $25 on a poorly crafted piece of band merch and God knows what else on overpriced drinks. It's not going to kill you to give him a quarter, so just do it already.

Lunge for Your Life
A few years ago outside a Flogging Molly show at the Warfield, these two very punk-rock-looking girls decided to beat their own boredom by indulging in some awesome synchronized lunging. Their own belief that this activity was hilarious persuaded almost everyone in the vicinity that it really, really was. Before long, strangers were lunging together en masse, exchanging details and posing for photos. Lunging is funny -- drunk lunging with mohawked strangers in a gig line is even funnier. And it's good for your thighs. It's a win-win, people -- a win-win.

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Conduct an Eating Competition

Anything edible in your pockets and bags is about to be confiscated by security anyway, so you need to get rid of it fast. Get together with those around you, find all the snack items that have been sitting at the bottom of your purses for three days, and conduct a timed eating contest. Whoever gets those airline peanuts, dry crackers, and crushed Clif Bars down the quickest wins! The prize? Not having a hangover tomorrow because you started the evening with a lined stomach. Truly glorious.

Bitch About Passersby
Make like Joan Rivers and Kelly Osbourne and issue cutting remarks about innocent bystanders. Yes, it's childish and stupid and you feel like the asshole cheerleaders in High School for ten minutes, but critiquing other people, as long as they can't actually hear you, can be pretty darn entertaining if you do it right. We witnessed some of this happening at the Kylie show at Bill Graham recently, and man! Those drag queens are hilarious!

Frisk Your Date
Fake some concern about how thorough security is at the venue and offer to help your friends make sure they don't have any contraband on them. Make up some bullshit ("I once saw a guy get searched here who had an oversized keyring and they, like, totally wouldn't let him in" etc, etc) and when they get concerned, commence mutual pat-down. Consider this gig foreplay. If you are in a long-term partnership that's losing its spark, this is also some prime opportunity for role-playing. The people around you will be utterly horrified, but it'll be something to tell the grandkids, eh? Or maybe not ...

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